Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – November 16th to 23rd, 1960

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Click on photos to enlargeA number of large masks made by pupils of Grade 8 were a feature of the open house at Bayview School, Midland, during Education Week last week. Lola Brown shows one of the masks to her mother, Mrs. Alice Brown. Attendance at all three Midland public schools was good, despite bad weather. 

One of the largest hunter safety training classes since the courses were started by Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers, graduated Thursday night. Here some of the 37 grads take their final test at MPDHS firing range. Course included four adults, one of them a married woman, and a high school girl. 

One of the many community projects sponsored by Branch 80 of the Canadian Legion, Midland, is a $100 scholarship for Grade 12 students at MPDHS. This year’s winner, Miss Donna Bridges, receives her cheque from Legion treasurer Ken Williams (right) at the Remembrance Day dinner Friday. Looking on at left is retiring president Borden Parker. 

Even the inspiration provided by these schoolmates failed to pull MPDHS juniors through to victory in the Georgian Bay final played here last Wednesday. Result was a heart-breaking, last-minute 20-19 defeat at the hands of Thornhill. It was the end of a fine season for MPDHS teams this year. 

Time has wrought a change on Midland’s King Street. Top photo, the burned out hulk of People’s Store is still sprayed with water after the fire last March. Lower, workmen put the finishing touches to the new sign erected on the front of the completed building, officially opened recently. 

Eve of the re-opening of the People’s Store in Midland recently was a hectic one for store manager Fred Carruthers, seen above checking off a rack of dresses with Mrs. Ann Lewis. 

It was “Education Week” in Ontario schools last week, and St. Marys Separate School joined other elementary schools in Midland in welcoming parents. Here some of the Grade 7 pupils await the arrival of their parents. At rear are F. Macdonald, inspector of separate schools, Barrie division, Sister M. Bernadette, principal, Miss Barbara Sibbald, consultant for an educational supply firm, and Sister Mary Imelda. 

This was a big moment in the history of Elmvale as Ernie Brown, president of the board of trade, left, turned over the keys of the community hall to the village, represented by Reeve Archie Train. The hall has been a board of trade project since February, 1936, and is currently valued at around $45,000. 

Another Midland organization has come to the aid of the Huronia Association for Retarded Children by making a financial donation. This time it is the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, who contributed $100. Making out the cheque is IODE treasurer, Mrs. Tom Brandon (seated). Looking on are W. A. Child, treasurer for the association and Mrs. Karl Bertrand, IODE Regent. 

These are not the walls of Jericho but of the new separate school being built in Midland’s east end. Row on row, the blocks were rising last week when this photograph of the building was taken. Exceptionally fine weather has been a boon to construction. Sacred Heart School 

Curling is in full swing again in Midland, with the Y’s Men’s Club holding the first bonspiel of the season Saturday. Winning rink in the second annual event, early draw, is Karl Bertrand’s rink, which included Gord Logan, Ross Thompson and Phil Fuller. 

Winning rink in the second annual event, 11 o’clock draw, was Armand Robillard’s rink, which included Norm Polmateer, Fred Hook and Archie Hyatt. 

These three girls placed in the top five in the final tabulation of Wyebridge 4-H Strawberry Club this season. Receiving cheques from Mrs. Howard Toole, president of Wyebridge W.I., sponsors of the club, are, left to right, Dorothy Shaw, Sharon Benson and Romelda Belanger. Club members were guests at a dinner held in Wyebridge community hall last Wednesday night. 

Father of Six Widower Drown on Fishing Trip
Free Press Herald headline of November 16, 1960. 

A late season fishing trip proved fatal for two Port Severn residents over the weekend. Drowned were Dorsey Leduc, 42, and Arthur Packwood, 68. Bodies of the two men were found in Gloucester Pool, about five miles north of Port Severn, by Cpl. James Bradley and OPP Constable Jack Ambeau. The two officers began dragging operations after the motor boat used by the two Port Severn men was found overturned in the ‘Pool’ Monday morning. The two victims were located Monday afternoon about 2,000 feet from the spot where the capsized boat was first sighted. They were in 50 feet of water, about 200 feet off shore, police said. 

Three Way Fight Looms for Penetang Mayoralty
County Herald headline of November 18, 1960. 

With ratepayers assured of a vote on election day this year through two questions being presented, there seemed to be less of an inclination at Penetang nomination meeting last night for nominees to decline if an acclamation appeared possible. As a result, there is indication of election for the posts of mayor, councillors and school board. Three men were nominated for the top post, Jerome Gignac, present mayor, was named along with Geo. Kerr and Edgar Moreau. Mr. Kerr said he would not stand, but there was considerable evidence from his supporters at the close of the meeting that he will change his mind and qualify before deadline at 9 p.m. tonight. Alf Cage received an acclamation for reeve, and Bernard St. Amant was given the nod for deputy-reeve. Both are sitting members. Nine names were proposed for the six council seats, and of that number there is a good possibility seven will allow their names to be placed on the ballot. (From the November 23rd paper; What appeared might be a three-way fight for the chief magistrate’s chair in Penetang dwindled to a two-way battle for the mayoralty by 9 o’clock Friday evening. All other municipal offices were filled by acclamation. George Kerr, a former mayor, by signing qualification papers has given the electors a choice between himself and incumbent Mayor Jerome Gignac.) 

Waubaushene Lady Dies in Accident at Harbour
Free Press Herald headline of November 23, 1960. 

Mrs. Thomas Byers, 91, of Waubaushene died in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Nov. 21, following an accident in her husband’s car at 4.25 p.m. the same day. According to Provincial Police the accident happened at the junction of Highway 12 and Park Street, Victoria Harbour when the Byers car and one driven by James Cote, 20, Victoria Harbour, were in collision. The Cote car had stopped at the intersection to make a left hand turn, police said. Police believe Thomas Byers, 77, lost control of his vehicle. It went down a 20-foot embankment. OPP Constable Murray Tamblyn of the Victoria Harbour detachment is still investigating the accident. 

    Recent incidents in the town of Penetang are causing residents to ask for better street lighting. Council, Monday night received a request for lights in the area of the recent slaying of Oliver Forget. In a letter, Norman Ladouceur and Don Yates asked for lights on Cambridge Street. Council agreed to have two installed at an annual cost of $18.17. Another fixture was ordered for Harriet Street, at a cost of $11.70 yearly.  

    The subject of the town dump was aired again at the regular meeting of Midland council, Monday night, but nothing further was decided other than the appointment of Alderman Walter Woods to the committee investigating the project. Noting that former Alderman Douglas Haig and he had been working on the project during the year. Mayor Charles Parker said “We haven’t solved it but we must find a solution”. The dump subject was raised when Clerk-Treasurer Wm. A. Hack read a letter from the recent local court of revision, which requested council to take action concerning the dump situation. The court’s letter followed a complaint by Dr. J. S. Corcoran who appealed against his assessment on the grounds that the dump devalued his  property and was detrimental to health.  

    One of the largest hunter safety training classes in local history graduated in Midland Thursday night after completing written and firing tests. Course instructor Peter Clause said 27 students, four of them adults, completed the first six week course to be held this fall. The next class starts in the YMCA Thursday night. The grads obtained 90 to 100 per cent in their written tests, Mr. Clause said. Students were Mrs. Jack Stainton, Miss Arlene Wilcox, James Macey, Gene Crawford, Bernard Courrier, Wilfred D’Aoust, Steve and Clifford Gatehouse, James McConnell, Carl Rightmayer, Bob Grexton, Gerald Jeannotte, Lorne Fenton, Brian Shaw, James Latour and James Wood. Instructors were Lorne Smoky Wood, Ron Mink and Peter Clause. 

    Several hundred people of all faiths accepted Msgr J. M. Castex “open house” invitation Sunday to view redecoration and partial refurnishing of St. Ann’s Memorial Church, Penetang. The Monsignor and his assistant priests met the guests as they arrived. Groups were conducted through the church by assistant priests and members of the Knights of Columbus. A comprehensive explanation of the new work was contained on a printed circular. Msgr. J. M. Castex is particularly proud of the work which he has been planning for some time. Included is an addition to the west side of the church, containing a baptistry on the main floor level with a meeting room below. This structure was started more than a year ago, and is now complete. 


25 Years Ago
To mark the first anniversary of the forming of the Midland Bugle Band a dance was held in an effort to raise money for new instruments. * * * Midland YMCA’s men’s club inaugurated a fancy dress ice ball to open the town’s winter sports season. * * * Coldwater residents under the leadership of Arthur Harden were organizing the “Simcoe Dramatic Guild.”* * * Herbert T. Owens, Toronto, wrote to George Ross, president of the Midland Chamber of Commerce, extolling the beauty of a boat trip taken earlier this year, from Midland to Pointe au Baril. * * * The Midland Workers’ Association was supporting a labor slate in the municipal elections. * * * Penetang and Midland Boy Scouts were making a door-to-door canvass for used toys to be repaired by them and given to needy children for Christmas. * * * Relief workers and Midland’s welfare committee met in closed session to discuss certain friction concerning work cards and pay received by the men. Welfare chairman R. D. Preston advised after the meeting that the issues had been adjusted satisfactorily. * * *  The S.S. Lemoyne, largest freighter on the Great Lakes and product of Midland shipyards, unloaded 442,000 bushels of grain at C.S.L. elevator. * * * Midland council held a meeting to consider ways and means of making local homes more habitable for those on relief. 

     Nearly a quarter century of effort by Elmvale Board of Trade was culminated Wednesday night when it officially turned over Elmvale Community Hall to the  village in a ceremony held in the hall. President of the board, Ernie Brown handed over a large symbolic key to village reeve Archie Train following an evening of entertainment by personalities from the Barrie TV station and district artists. Bill Campbell outlined the history of the hall, and acted as commentator while a film was shown of work on the building through the years and the official opening night, back in April, 1951. “This is not just a structure of stone, bricks and cement” said Mr. Campbell, recalling the many hours, both happy and worried, that went into its building. He read a long list of men, some now dead, who gave of their time, thought and money down the years. Mr. Campbell said the idea for a community hall started at a board of trade meeting in February, 1936, when it was voted to turn $200 then in the treasury and the proceeds of a dance, to be held later, to get the ball rolling. These funds were placed in trust. By 1948, the board had accumulated between $5,000 and $6,000 in its hall fund. The late Lawson Robinson, a former reeve of the village, secured the present site, and a start was made with the limited funds available. Among the men highly praised by Mr. Campbell was Elmer Fiegehen, whom he likened to a Churchill or Roosevelt in raising flagging spirits when the going got tough. “He did his share and a bit more,” said the speaker. Although the official opening was held in April, 1951, a great deal of work, and much equipment, has gone into the building since that time to bring it to its present state, Mr. Campbell pointed out. “No person was ever asked to contribute money for the building of this hall, he recalled. Money was given, on a voluntary basis, and the rest was raised through numerous projects such as carnivals, sports, dances, car draws and auction sales, that included “just about everything from manure forks to pianos. In addition, of course, there were hundreds of hours of free labor by many men and women of the village, the chairman pointed out.  

    The current mild weather is not for the birds—but favors polliwogs. Grace and Rowley Marchant, who live on a farm near Old Fort School, Sunday found five good-sized tadpoles swimming in a small pool where their cattle drink. The polliwogs still had not shed their long tails, and had not reached the stage where their legs were starting to form. 

    Mumps continued to lead the list of communicable diseases reported to the Simcoe County Health Unit, with 63 cases for the month of October. Other diseases reported were chicken pox, 28; scarlet fever, 19; measles, 16; bacillary dysentery, 2 and salmonellosis and whooping cough one each. 

    Exempt assessment in the town of Penetanguishene is rapidly approaching the point of totalling 50 per cent of the town’s assessment for taxable purposes. This was shown in a report submitted to council Monday night by Assessor Willard Duquette. Those properties which come under the exempt class include churches, hospitals, schools, government wharf, post office, corporation buildings, Georgian Manor, Simcoe County reforestation, Ontario Hospital and HEPC.  

    Anne Delaney, Grade 7 student at Midland’s Parkview Public School, won first prize in the Simcoe County public speaking finals at Hillcrest Public School, Barrie, Friday night. Anne was presented with the George G. Johnston trophy by Johnston’s son. Noting that most of speeches were excellent in all respects, the judges said that they had to disqualify some of the speakers because they were over the seven minute or under the five, minute limitations. Thirteen proved to be a lucky number for Anne as that was her number among the 20 contestants. Anne is the 12-year-old daughter of Rev. and Mrs. L. J. Delaney.   

    John Svoboda, 12-year-old Penetang lad, will be one of a group of music pupils to receive medals for accomplishments in music, at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto tonight. John will receive a silver medal for attaining the highest mark in the province in 1960 exams. Trying his Grade 5 piano, John chalked up a total mark of 88. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Svoboda, and his music teacher, Mrs. A. Morrison, will accompany him for the presentation. 

    Penetang old time hockey players proved they were far from being a washed out bunch of old crocks by defeating the younger TV-Radio All Stars 12-6 in a game at Penetang arena Nov. 14. Entire proceeds go to defray the costs of Little League Hockey in Penetang. Lefty St. Amant opened the scoring for the old-timers early in the first period, and the men of the airwaves tied it up about five minutes later. Still insisting his team belonged on top of the heap, Lefty bulged the twine again a minute later and, from that time on the old timers stayed on top of the count. Goals for Penetang were tallied by Pit Legault, Sib Brodeur, Bud Larmand, Vic Grigg, Morley Spiker, Frank Swales, and Babe Deschamps. Lefty St. Amant got a total of four counts. 

Ten Years Ago
The congregation of Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, unanimously decided to extend a call to Rev J. L.  Self to be their minister. * * * Reductions in assessment of Penetang hotels totalling $19,000 and made by Penetang assessor Edgar J. Moreau were appealed by county assessor Eric Simpson. * * * Midland Post Office was celebrating its 78th birthday. In those years the town had had only three postmasters, Thomas Gladstone, then his son Watkin Gladstone and Donald Swinson. * * * With the putting into operation of the new Henry Simon (still in business) 1,300 barrel per day plant, Copeland Flour Mills, Midland, had a daily capacity of 2,500 barrels. * * *  Preliminary meetings of representatives of Midland council, Park Commission and Curling Club officials had agreed on the major terms of a new lease for the rink. * * * Charles E. Stevenson, chairman of the Midland Public Utilities Commission stated that close to $150,000 would be spent in rebuilding the hydro electric distribution system in Midland over the ensuing year. * * * A meeting of Hillsdale residents was called for the purpose of reorganizing the Hillsdale Community Park Commission and to discuss ways and means of putting the park in shape again. * * * Midland’s pet poisoner was still at work when the 21st dog was reported poisoned with strychnine. 

    The old story of carrying coal to Newcastle has nothing on Art and Larry Bellisle, Penetang butchers, who are delivering meat in Toronto. On Wednesday of last week, Larry left for Toronto with more than 1,700 pounds of meat for delivery to Toronto customers. He said they do this three or four times each winter. Larry explained the customers all spend the summer at cottages in this area, and shop in Penetang. During the winter months they continue to order their meat supplies from the Penetang merchant. Deliveries are arranged for times when suitable quantities are ready for delivery. (One of Penetang’s best, Larry died in March of 2018.) 

    The Canadian Legion this month celebrates its 35th anniversary with a new badge. Although retaining the shape of the old badge, the new one designed by heraldic expert Alan Beddoe, Ottawa, incorporates many changes. Chief change is in the dropping of the “British Empire Service League” after the name Canadian Legion. This was made necessary when the Commonwealth Association, of which the Canadian Legion is a member, changed its name in 1958. It is now known as the British Commonwealth Ex-Services League, it was stated. 

Births   (Maybe it was a cold spring in 1960?)
BELCHER — To Mr. and Mrs. Lorne Belcher, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, November 13, I960, a daughter.
BIGGS — To Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Biggs, R.R 1, Coldwater, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, November 10, 1960, a son.
PUDDICOMBE — To Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Puddicombe, Victoria
Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, November 17, 1960, a daughter.
CRAWFORD —To Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Crawford, 40 Olive Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 16, 1960, a son.
LEDUC — To Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Leduc, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 16, I960, twin sons.
NEILON — To Mr. and Mrs. Michael Neilon, 276 Dominion Avenue, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, November 14, 1960, a son. Stillborn.
DESJARDINS — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Desjardins, 83 Peel St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 1960, a daughter
DESROCHES  — To Mr. and Mrs. Armand Desroches, R.R. 1,
Perkinsfield, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, Nov. 18, 1960, a son.
GRENIER — To Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Grenier, R.R. 2, Midland, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 1960, a son.
HARTLEY — To Mr. and Mrs. Laverne Hartley, 20 Peel St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, November 16, 1960, a daughter.
BELCOURT — To Mr. and Mrs. Paul Belcourt, Perkinsfield, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Thursday, Nov. 3, 1960, a daughter.
BRUNELLE —To Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Brunelle, 71 Robert St., W., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Sunday, Nov. 6, 1960, a daughter.
DOYLE — To Mr. and Mrs. Michael Doyle of North River, at Soldier’s Memorial Hospital, Orillia, a daughter, Mary Jane Isabel, on Thursday, November 10, 1960, 9 lbs., 10 oz., a baby sister for Margaret Anne and
FENTON — To Mr. and Mrs. John R. Fenton, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, November 11, 1960, a daughter, Karen Joy. Weight 7 lbs., 8 oz.
LADOUCEUR — To Mr. and Mrs. Marcel Ladouceur, Park St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Monday, Nov. 7, 1960, a son.
LAFRENIERE — To Mr. and Mrs. Peter Lafreniere, R.R. 3, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Saturday, Nov. 5, 1360, a son.
LeCAMP — To Mr. and Mrs. Venard LeCamp, Brock St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 1960, a son.
LEVACK — To Mr. and Mrs. Norman Levack, 239 William Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, November 5, 1960, a daughter.
McCLUNG — To Mr. and Mrs. Larry McClung, 285 Lindsay Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, November 8, 1960, a son.
McMARTIN — To Mr. and Mrs. Russell McMartin, 19 Montreal Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 9, 1960, a, daughter.
REYNOLDS — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Reynolds, Wyevale, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 9, 1960, a son.
WALTENBURY — To Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Waltenbury, 34 Ontario
Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, November 8, 1960, a daughter.
WRIGHT — To Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Wright, 271 William Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 9, 1960, a son.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – November 8th to 15th, 1960

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Click on photos to enlargeMidland firemen were presented with this plaque by a number of local merchants as an expression of appreciation for past services. Members of the brigade present were, left to right: seated Dalt Jennett, Chief Arnold Tippin, Earl A. Allsopp; 2nd row—Phil Blake, Art Murday, Harry Hamilton, Doug Martin, Andy Sedore, Peter Staruck; 3rd row, Harry Howard, Neil Goneau, Robert Hudson (Bob), Fred Grigg; 4th row, Harold Rutherford, Logan Cruise, George Thompson, Ken Crawford, Jack Pardon (Pud); back row, Irwin Jackman, Ben Cowie, Lieut Wm. Johnston, Francis Miller (Sonny), Dave Hudson. 

Hearts were gay and spirits high when this picture was taken, just before the opening kick-off in the big game between MPDHS seniors and Orillia Friday afternoon. These MPDHS fans weren’t so happy at game’s end, following a 15-6 Orillia win that eliminated the senior squad. MPDHS juniors won their group and will meet Thornhill at Midland this afternoon.

New wide stone steps and balustrades have greatly improved the appearance of Midland’s Orange Hall on Dominion Ave. West. 

The photographer could have been excused if his hand shook a little when he took this picture, for the winner of this electric range at the Fun Fair cooking school in Penetang Friday was his wife, Ann Farrow, left, looking a bit astonished at the winning card. Others are, left to right, Jane Wright, Mrs. Louise Leclair and Ed Webster. 

These youngsters can afford big smiles after their award-winning efforts at the oratorical contest held at Regent School auditorium Wednesday night. Left to right are Max Morden, Parkview; Anne Delaney, also from Parkview and the grand winner of the night; Utta Beckman, Regent; Brian Clarke, Bayview; and Michael St Amand, Sacred Heart, judged best speaker for the separate schools.

Public School Inspector Ken Ellis (left) seems happy about the “progress” being made by Bill Jeffery with his spelling. The two men were actually visiting Parkview Public School Wednesday night during the observance of Education Week in Ontario schools. 

Arithmetic is still one of the important three Rs, despite curriculum changes in Ontario schools. Here Richard Waltz starts a problem while Miss Barbara Sibbald, consultant for an educational supply firm, and classmate Susan Wood watch. It was part of “Education Week” displays staged by St. Mary’s Separate School in Midland. 

Midlander’s were obviously pleased with the arrangements in the new Peoples Store, which re-opened Thursday for the first time since the big fire March 4. Setting up one of the counters are Mrs. A. Sibbald, left, and Miss Raylene Sovey. 


Four Face 26 Charges in Penetang Crime Wave
Free Press Herald headline of November 9th, 1960. 

Four local youths will face a total of 26 charges in Penetang court tomorrow, following investigations carried out by Penetang Police. The charges include break and entry, theft, car theft, and willful damage. Two juveniles are also implicated, and will face charges in Midland Juvenile Court. The four also face charges, laid by OPP at Victoria Harbour, of breaking into a cottage. Chief Jack Arbour said four youths’ were picked up as a result of police investigations of vandalism at Penetang Public School, Thursday night. A tip had indicated four lads were heading for Marygrove Girls Camp, near Penetang. Wearing civilian clothes, Chief Arbour and Sgt. Marcel Dorion found two lads hitch-hiking on Champlain Road Sunday morning and offered them, a ride. The youths were brought to Penetang for questioning. Statements given to police led to the recovery of loot in a Penetang home. Included were several items stolen in September from two cruisers anchored at Norse Boat Co., and cigarettes and other items from a break-in at the bowling alley. Theft of two cars is also involved. 

Councillors & Mayor Vague, May Enter Ballot Battle
County Herald headline of November 11, 1960. 

Midland municipal nomination day less than weeks away (Nov. 24) many council members are still undecided whether or not they will let their names stand. Members of the public utilities commission and public schools board, whose terms expire this year, are more definite in their intentions. Mayor Charles Parker, intimating that it had been a difficult year, said he was undecided but would talk to the press soon about his intentions. Reeve H. J. Beauchamp stated yesterday. “I am undecided but I think I will likely run for reeve.” Deputy-reeve Wm. Orr said he hadn’t made up his mind yet but definitely intended to run somewhere. “All I can give you at the moment is that I’m undecided,” declared Ward 3 Alderman James Mackie, “I think it’s about time I retired from municipal politics.” Ward 2 Alderman Walter Woods when asked if he had come to any decision about standing for office again stated. “My basic thought at the moment is that I will run for alderman in Ward 4. If a more capable man comes along I’ll step down.” 

    Midland council, at a special meeting Monday afternoon, appointed Douglas G. Haig town solicitor. He succeeds the late George Dudley, Q.C. Just prior to the appointment of the Ward 4 alderman, a motion by Reeve H. J. Beauchamp and Deputy Reeve Wm. Orr accepted “with regret” the resignation of Alderman Haig.  

    Frank Spence, president of Midland Figure Skating Club, appeared before a special meeting of Midland council Monday afternoon, to enlist council’s support for a meeting with the Midland Arena board and skating club representatives. Mr. Spence, noting that five letters and numerous phone calls had been sent to the arena board since March, stated that he still had not been able to arrange a meeting with the board. He added, “We are getting pushed around from pillar to post and I’m very provoked”. Mr. Spence said he had the impression that the arena board would not consider lowering its price for ice time and added it seems to be a case of pay $6 per hour or you can’t have the ice. Mayor Charles Parker asked Mr. Spence if there were any chance of increasing the number of members of the skating club. Mr. Spence said there had been a drop in membership from the 110 figure of three and four years ago.  

    First vice-president-elect of Midland Branch 80 of the Canadian Legion, Sol DeVries announced yesterday the proposed new Legion building will cost $60,000 instead of the $40,000 originally estimated. Mr. DeVries is chairman of Legion’s building committee.  The building, which will have 110 foot front and a depth of 60 feet, will be of modern design and of brick and concrete block construction Mr. DeVries stated. The basement level will comprise a clubroom to accommodate 250 people, card room, games room, T.V. lounge, reading room and executive offices, Mr. DeVries said. The main floor in addition to the spacious lobby will contain an auditorium with stage and dressing rooms. The capacity of the auditorium is an estimated 475 persons, it was stated.  Local contractors will be used in the construction, Mr. DeVries said. Midland council at its meeting Monday afternoon received the Legion’s cheque for $2,000 in payment for the lot at Bay and Queen Streets for the new building. 

    George McLaughlin last night was elected president of Branch 80, Canadian Legion, Midland, for the ensuing year. Other officers elected were: Sol DeVries, 1st vice-president: Oliver Lesperance, 2nd vice-president; James Duncan, secretary; Ken Williams, treasurer and sergeant-at-arms, Len Wiles. Elected to the Legion executive were Fred Lemieux, Wm. Henderson and Edward Ebdon. 

    Well-known throughout North Simcoe, Mrs. Herb Hornsby died unexpectedly, early Sunday morning at her Waverley home, following a heart attack. Funeral services for Mrs. Hornsby, the former Josephine English, were held yesterday afternoon at Nicholls funeral home. She had been active in the work of the Order of the Eastern Star, having held office in the Midland chapter. Besides her husband, Mrs. Hornsby is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Don Edwards, Midland, Mrs. Ruth French, Hamilton, and Mrs. Dave McCall, Trenton. There is also her mother, Mrs. Wm. English, a brother, Cecil English, both of Midland, and a grandson, Charles Edwards. 

Ten Years Ago This Week
    An epidemic of cottage break-ins was reported from the Nottawaga Beach area, and police were investigating. * * * Midland YMCA had achieved 83 per cent of its campaign objective of $7,500 and canvassers were confident that their full quota would soon be reached. * * * Sidney F. Malin, with 36 years of service with the CPR, took over as superintendent of the C.P. Great Lakes Steamship  service, in place of Capt. Joseph Bishop, retiring after 43 years with the company. • • • Simcoe County Warden W. R. Benson, addressing Coldwater Lions, said the county was paying a heavy price for lack of accommodation for destitute aged residents. The present county home was overcrowded he declared. The Pen Theatre was about to celebrate its “first birthday”. During the year, the management had sponsored a soap box derby, several contests, and was about to build a bowling alley. * * * The Roxy Theatre was preparing for a “Rugby Night” at which a “Campus Queen” would be chosen. * * * The Elmvale Calf and Forage Clubs were banquetted jointly by the Elmvale District Lions Club and the Flos Agricultural Society. Guest speaker was Norman Gerriock of the CBC Farm Broadcast Department. * * * Editorial extract: “Canada’s government-in-business’ personnel has ballooned to the point where it is robbing hundreds of thousands or citizens of hard earned dollars.” 

BOWEN — To Mr. and Mrs. Earl Bowen, 210 William Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital,  Wednesday, November 9, 1960, a son.
DYMENT — To Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Dyment, 179 Manly Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, November 5, 1960, a daughter.
JANSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Horst Janson, 107 Scott Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, November 8, 1960, a son. 

Dear Editor;
The 73-ton single screw wooden tug Fanny Arnold, official No. 85322, was built in 1882 at Owen Sound by John Simpson for Benjamin Arnold and partners, of Owen Sound. Her length was 89 feet, width 18 and depth 9 feet. Her hull was painted green and cabins a dark red. She had a black stack. Her steeple compound engine was built by Bertram Iron Works, Toronto, in 1882. It had a 22 – inch stroke and cylinders, 15 and 27 inches in diameter, developing 31.8 horsepower. In 1903 her owners were listed as the Spanish River Company of Spanish River Ontario. In 1931 she was listed as owned by the Burke Towing and Salvage Co. of Midland, her captain being Charles  Malcolm and her engineer W. E. Root. On May 23rd 1941 she was sold to J. P. Porter and Sons, Ltd., Montreal, Que., and renamed Tupper Porter and on Nov. 23, 1949 her certificate was cancelled and registry closed. She was dismantled and her hull was sunk in Lake Ontario. —W. R. WILLIAMS 

A few items from the Free Press Herald of November 13, 1940, 80 years ago. 

No inquest will be held into the death of Arthur Ambeau at the C.N.R. Dock, Midland, Sunday morning, Dr. C. Swann, acting coroner, said today. Ambeau, employed by the Canadian Dredge Co., was engaged in the unloading of steel pilings for the dock remodelling work now in progress there. The pilings were lashed to a scow lying out from the dock. A piece of wood, used to tighten the cable holding the pilings, came loose as Ambeau attempted to remove the cable and flew up striking him a blow on the forehead. Dr. T. J. Johnston was called to the accident, but Ambeau died almost instantly. A resident of Midland for many years, Ambeau had only returned less than two weeks ago from Nobel where he had been doing temporary work, to take his job on the dock rebuilding. He is survived by his wife: formerly Miss Mary Bonnville, Port Severn; four children, Arthur 8, Robert 6, Jerome 4, and Margaret 2; his mother, Mrs. Herman Ambeau, and two brothers, Herman and Harvey, Midland. Funeral services were held this morning at 9 a.m. from St. Margaret’s Catholic Church with burial at the Catholic Cemetery. 

    The hand of death reached out of Monday’s storm and struck into two Midland homes; its shadow hovers uncertainly over three other Midland families and two of Victoria Harbour as anxious relatives await word of missing seamen. Identified as dead are Lawrence Thompson and George Sovey, of Midland, whose bodies were found by coastguardsmen on the shores of Lake Michigan, near Ludington. Tentative identification was made from papers found on the bodies. Feared lost with all hands are the vessels Anna C. Minch, with an all-Canadian crew, and the American  freighter, William B. Davock. Reported hard aground near Juniper Beach, Lake Michigan, is the Patterson line’s Novadoc, said to have broken in two from the violence of the waves. It was reported at noon today that seventeen crew members had been safely removed from the vessel by coastguard boats which had been standing by.

    George E. Walker, Midland longshoreman, fell 30 feet from a ladder to the bottom of the hold of grain boat “Barrington” at the docks of Tiffin Elevators, Midland, at 8 p.m. last night, during unloading operations. Walker has not gained consciousness and lies in a critical condition at St. Andrews Hospital according to attending physician Dr. Johnson. While medical attendants believe there were no large bones broken, Walker’s condition is serious as a result of a severely fractured skull. (He later died of his injuries.)  

    Spry and sprightly despite his 80 years, George Robinson; who operates a men’s wear store in Penetang, was on the job this week the same as ever, nattily dressed, and looking at least twenty years younger than his years. His birthday fell last Thursday and was celebrated in a fine fashion. He not only attends to his business, but pays even stricter attention to his golf being counted one of the best players on the roster of the Midland Golf and Country Club. Mr. Robinson has been active in sport throughout his life, hockey and baseball early in life, later retiring to the more sedate golf and curling in which he has collected an array of trophies. Born in York Township, Mr. Robinson came to Penetang while still a very young man. In 1902 he was married to Miss Mary Beck of Penetang. 

    On Tuesday evening a miscellaneous shower was held in honor of Miss Neca Laurin bride to be at the home of Mrs. Meb Spence, Midland. The house was prettily decorated with pink and white streamers and bells, and many of the gifts were held in a decorated umbrella. Many games were played and a dainty lunch was served by the hostess assisted by Miss Rita Hamelin, Miss Frances Wright and Mrs. Walter Lumsden. (From the next paper – The marriage took place in Margaret’s Church, on Saturday morning, of Neca Laurin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Laurin, to Mr. Alvin Lavigne, son of Capt. and Mrs. A. Lavigne. Rev. B. J. Belanger performed the ceremony. (From the Free Press December 1965 – Neca Laurin and Alvin Lavigne were married in St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, November 23, 1940 by Rev. B. J. Belanger. They resided in Midland for a number of years before going to Marathon.) 

     Terrific high winds Monday night resulted in considerable damage in both Midland and Penetang. Four chimney fires were reported but practically no damage of any extent resulted. The steeple was blown off St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Midland. Roofs of industrial and business concerns were torn up in the heavy wind. Penetang Ball Park grandstand was blown to pieces. Decorative trees that had stood for many years in the yards of historic homes were uprooted or broken by the heavy gusts. Motorists on country roads of the district reported blockings of travel by trees blown across the roads necessitating detours. 

    Rescuing his cows, pigs, and chickens from the fire that destroyed his barn on his farm, just across the Penetang Bay from the town of Penetang, late last Saturday night, Alphonse Lalonde, well known Highland Point farmer, was so badly burned about the hands and arms that his life was feared for over the week-end. “He will not be able to work for months” Dr. J. M. Nettleton, who is attending Lalonde, reported yesterday, “but he will recover.” Spectators at the fire are reported to have been amazed at the way Lalonde, his hands and arms burned almost to the bone, continued to carry his stock in his arms from the burning barn until the last one had been removed. The animals, terrified by the flames balked at being driven out and would not move. The barn was a total loss.

Every 30 minutes!

And to end, another letter home from a Midland serviceman overseas in 1940.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – November 1st to 7th, 1960

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Click on photos to enlargeWee spook – This little fellow, making his first Hallowe’en rounds of his Midland neighbourhood, got some pretty good “shell outs” despite his timid knocks at the doors. Rain, which started just after darkness fell, made for a rather miserable night for the younger folk.

This great photo didn’t make it into the newspaper but we were hoping someone might have a memory that goes back 60 years to Halloween 1960. We think this is Gianetto’s front door. A familiar bowling picture is hanging inside the front door.  

Midland council tendered a civic dinner for the Oshawa Salvation Army Songsters, in Midland over the weekend as part of the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the Salvation Army in Midland. Among the dignitaries present at the dinner in the Georgian Hotel Saturday night were, left to right, Lieut. Wm. Johnston, Midland; Col. H. Beckett, Toronto; Dr. P. B. Rynard, Orillia, MP for Simcoe East; Deputy-reeve Wm. Orr, Midland; and song leader Chris Osborne of the Oshawa group. 

Floor hockey is one of the many activities for boys in Midland YMCA’s physical fitness program. A campaign for $13,000 with which to finance this and other activities gets underway Nov. 14.  (The old familiar “shirts and skins”.)

Vasey’s 4-H Calf Club should continue to prosper with novice members like these, who have already made fine showings this year. Mrs. Roy Edwards, right, is seen presenting prizes on behalf of Vasey Women’s Institute to John Rumble, Ivan Smith, Sheila Edwards, Sharon Rumney and Donna Rumney. 

These members of Vasey 4-H Calf Club won the trophy for the best showing of three calves by any 4-H Club in the county at Barrie Fair this year. Seen with club leader Roy Edwards, they are, left to right, Donna Rumney, Madeline Stewart and John Stewart. 

Big smiles show appreciation of these Vasey 4-H Calf Club members for the prize money given them last Thursday night at Vasey by Mr. E. Christopherson, manager of the Midland Branch of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Left to right; the youngsters are Grant Robinson, Carolyn Edwards, Kenneth Leonard, Neil Strath and Sheila Edwards. 

Midland YMCA serves as headquarters for many organizations in addition to its own many activities. Seen above is the executive of the 45-member Midland Foreman’s Club, which meets there once monthly. Left to right are Elmer Lavigne, vice-president; George Small, president; Mirro Tretina, program chairman; Hans Karl Wiese, secretary; Otto Gollong, publicity chairman. 

Bryde Bernard, left, of Victoria Harbour, and Doreen Moreau, Midland, were awarded trophies by the Serra Club of Toronto at ceremonies held recently at St. Michael’s Cathedral as “outstanding girls” in their parishes. 

These students at the night school being sponsored by Midland-Penetang District High School will soon be able to answer “oui” to the old question “Parlez-vous Francais?”. They form one of the two classes taking conversational French. Instructor here is J. Giroux. 

Winners in the elementary school oratorical contest held Wednesday night in Regent school auditorium were Anne Delaney, left, and Michael St. Amand. Daughter of Rev. and Mrs. L. J. Delaney, Anne was judged the overall winner and will advance into the county finals at Barrie later this month. Michael, son of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond St. Amand, won top honours for separate school speakers. 

This bronze plaque was presented to Midland Fire Brigade Wednesday night by several Midland firms in recognition of the brigade’s services in past years. Left to right; are Frank Bray, Ward Barrie, Phil Blake, who accepted the plaque on behalf of the brigade, Larry Dumais and Dean Nicholls. Other donors not represented were Wagg’s Laundry and Canada Steamship Lines. 

Midland Rotary Club made another contribution to the work of the Huronia Association for Retarded Children this week with the presentation of a $100 cheque to Mrs. Jack Banks (Evelyn). She is seen with Bob Scott, Rotary publicity chairman, left, and Lorne Garrow, club treasurer. The club had previously given the association a financial boost, making $300 contributed by them so far. 

Millinery is one of the popular classes at the night school being held at Midland – Penetang District High School this fall. Above, Mrs. Jack Reedy, left, and Mrs. James Newton are given a few pointers by Mrs. W. J. Manson, instructress. (The caption above, used in the newspaper, identified Mrs. Reedy as being on the left when it is actually Mrs. Emily Newton. Correction provided by her daughter Janice Craig.)

Over 1,200 persons attended the IGA cooking school at Midland’s IOOF Temple last week and the happiest of all was Mrs. Reg Campbell (right) of 134 Hugel Ave. Little Patrick Taylor, aged 4 1/2, picked Mrs. Campbell’s name out of the box, winning her an electric range, donated by Webster’s TV and Appliances, Penetang. Also seen are Ed Webster and Miss Jane Wright, instructress for the cooking school. 


Tighten PUC Regulations for Household Circuits
Free Press Herald headline of November 2, 1960 

Midland Public Utilities Commission has tightened wiring regulations. Monday night it approved a motion requiring that new single dwelling establishments be electrically wired with 100 ampere circuits. The motion, which becomes effective Jan. 1, 1961, also stated that small establishments with correspondingly small requirements will be given special consideration only upon written request, accompanied by plan details, to the PUC. 

Request Minister Curb Ballooning Hospital Costs
County Herald headline of November 4, 1960 .

Health Minister Matthew Dymond is being asked by St. Andrews Hospital Board to take steps to halt ballooning costs in Ontario’s provincial hospitalization scheme. The board’s action was taken at its meeting Tuesday night after it learned measures adopted by Toronto hospitals necessitated a per diem rate increase of $1.65 over the present rate at St Andrews and meant a hike of $3.05 over the rate in effect in 1959. The decision by all Toronto hospitals to raise the commencing rate for nurses to $285 per month in 1961 is reflected in the budget submitted by St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, to the Ontario Hospital Services Commission for approval. If approved by OHSC the per diem rate payable by ward patients at St. Andrews as of Jan. 1, 1961, will be $18.15. 

    Thirty-five years of Y’sdom in Midland were celebrated Saturday night when Midland Y’s Men’s Club held a banquet and dance at the YMCA. It was Dec. 3, 1925, that the Y’s Men’s Club of Midland received its charter, and charter president T. M.  McCullough was chairman of Saturday night’s banquet. Other charter members present were Wells Hartman and Sargeant Ruby of Midland, Fred Martin, now living in London, and Perce Ward of Brampton. A skit, “Y’s Men’s Club of Midland This Is Your Life”, depicted many of the activities and accomplishments of the club since its founding. The summer playground in Little Lake Park has been sponsored annually since 1926 by the Y’s Men’s Club. It is the longest continuous youth program in Midland and believed to be one of the longest in Canada. Narrator of the skit, Haig Abbott, mentioned the track and field competitions sponsored by the club in the late twenties and how interest stimulated by the events helped Midland to develop some of the finest high school athletes in Ontario. Other highlights of the early years of the club he said, were the sponsoring of the Orillia Y’s Men’s Club and the work of club members in organizing and developing programs of the Midland YMCA. He paid special tribute to D. L. White through whose generosity the YMCA was built and furnished. 

25 Years Ago
Publication day of The Free Press was changed from Thursday to Wednesday. * * * Future plans for Midland were being discussed at a chamber of commerce meeting and the topics of lower freight rates, winter sports, a Georgian Bay tourist organization and paving to Waubaushene. * * * Midland council approved Public Utilities Commission salaries for members of $50 a year and $lOO for the chairman for 1935 Council also agreed to double these salaries the following year. * * * The Grise brothers dissolved their partnership holdings at Honey Harbour, Phil Grise became sole owner of the Royal Hotel and George and Fred Grise took over the operation of the Delawana Inn. * * * “Bedlam in Bedclothing as tremor hits Midland” was a Free Press heading when two earth tremors rocked district buildings. First tremor came on Hallowe’en Eve and the second on the following day. * * * Noting a surplus of $325 in the public works department, Midland’s Mayor S. W. McKinley said, “The whole town is in better shape financially”. * * * All Saints’ parish hall, Penetang was the scene of a two day dramatic contest between Anglican Young People’s Associations from Midland, Thornton, Orillia, Coldwater, Fair Valley and Penetang. * * * Many Midland men were trying out for the ten-man relay team which was preparing for the relay road race between Orillia and Barrie.  

    Hydro power rates in Midland are the lowest of any community in Ontario, the 1959 annual report of the Ontario Hydro Commission reveals. It is an enviable position once held by Ottawa. According to a breakdown of rates, listed in the latest bulletin of the Midland Chamber of Commerce, the Midland residential rate is $1.26 lower than Barrie, $1.71 lower than Collingwood, 81 cents lower than Orillia and 54 cents lower than Penetang. Midland’s commercial rate is $2.97 compared with Barrie’s $3.69; Collingwood’s $4.23; Orillia’s $3.51 and Penetang’s $3.06. In the industrial rates, Midland is one cent lower than Barrie’s $2 38. Collingwood industrial is $2.79, Orillia $2.47, Penetang $2.55. 

    At a special short- meeting of Midland Council Monday afternoon, Jack Sharp, Victoria Street, Midland, was appointed the town’s welfare officer and clerical assistant. Mr. Sharp, who is single and a native of Midland, is a graduate of Midland High School. Midland’s clerk-treasurer Wm. A. Hack stated yesterday, that Mr. Sharp had been chosen from 22 applications received for the position. Mr. Sharp replaces Kenneth Hawkes who has been appointed secretary of the Midland Planning Board. 

Tug Lucknow – Dear Editor: The 265-ton single screw wooden tug W. H. Pringle (88623) was built in 1871 at South Saginaw by Thomas T. Arnold for H. Pringle. A. Rust, D. W. Rust and Wm. Weby of Marine City. Her length was 129 feet, width 19 feet and depth 7 feet 6 inches. On May 5, 1877, she burned at Marysville. Her hull was sold to H. B. Barrow of Cleveland who rebuilt it as a 219-ton schooner barge. He sold her in 1881 to John Demass of Detroit, who sold her in 1884 to J. and T. Charlton of Windsor. The Charltons renamed her International (Can 88623) and afterwards renamed her Onaping. Then they rebuilt her as a tug, 250 tons, length 120 feet, width 18 feet, and depth 7 feet 6 inches. She had a steeple compound engine with 27-inch stroke, cylinders 22 inches and 40 inches diameter. In 1892 she was given a new firebox boiler measuring 10 feet 1 inch by 16 feet. In 1915 she was sold Edward and David Burke of Midland (Towing and Wrecking Co.) and renamed Lucknow. In 1934 she was sold to Wallaceburg Sand and Gravel Co., and in 1935 she was dismantled and beached on the shore of Midland Bay then burned.          W. R. Williams 

    Fire late yesterday afternoon caused heavy damage to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Quesnelle, 124 Fifth Street, Midland. This newspaper was informed that Mr. Quesnelle came home from work and attempted to start an oil space heater in the house. The stove, located in a room at the back of the house, exploded and the flames spread rapidly up the wall and into the second floor. The fire broke out about 3.50 p.m. When Midland firemen arrived on the scene extensive fire, water and smoke damage had been caused to the the house and rooms on the upper floor. 

BANKS—To Mr. and Mrs. Lorne Banks, 33 Olive Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday October 28, 1960, a daughter.
BARRY — To Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Barry, 33 Poyntz St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, Oct. 28, 1960, a daughter.
BEAUSOLEIL — To Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Beausoleil, 46 Main St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, Oct. 28, 1960, a son.
BOYER — To Mr. and Mrs. Michael Boyer, Honey Harbour, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Monday, Oct. 31. 1960, a son.
DUSOME—To Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Dusome, Sunnyside, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, October 28, 1960, a daughter.
 LARMAND—To Mr. and Mrs. Hermos Larmand, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, October 28, 1960 a daughter.
MILLER — To Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Miller, 285 Russell St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, October 29, 1960, a daughter.
TINNEY — To Mr. and Mrs. Paul Tinney, Coldwater, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, November 1, 1960, a son.
BOTTINEAU—To Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Bottineau, Highland Point, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 1960, twin daughters.
CLEMENT — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Clement, R.R. 1, Elmvale, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Monday, Oct. 24, 1960, a daughter.
DESROCHES — To Mr. and Mrs. Norbert Desroches, R.R. 2, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 1960, a son.
LACROIX — To Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Lacroix, Leonard Ave., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 1960, a son.
ROBILLARD — To Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Robillard, 22 Jeffrey St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Saturday, Oct. 29, 1960, a son.
YULE—To Mr. and Mrs. Earnel Yule, 156 Robert St. E., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Sunday, Oct. 23, 1960, a daughter.

It is always interesting to look back another 20 years to see what was making news in Midland in 1940. The clipping below describes a young man’s experiences that are far removed from what life is now.